Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Well, this is unexpected

Some days are stone-cold quiet, and some open with a nuclear bomb. There I am, reading through my weekly edition of Doc Jensen's insanity, trying to figure out what predictions I am going to wrongly make for "Lost" this week, when suddenly:
"Chris Nolan will mentor Superman 3.0 and prep 3rd Batman."

That sound you hear is a thousand blogger typewriters clicking and clacking away. Nikki Finke, the much maligned rumor mongerer, is reporting that Nolan will basically play Godfather to the new Supes while working on getting the third bat installment ready (no, we still don't know what he'll be doing on that). Chances of him directing the new Super-movie seem nigh impossible; his involvement seems more about getting things "ready" and "right" or "the opposite of Superman Returns." Now, you can read Ms Finke's story if you'd rather hear about the industry ins and outs of why Warner Bros switched gears and decided to move full-steam ahead on Superman stuff NOW instead of back burnering him as had been the plan; she's also got tons of other details about who has and hasn't flirted with the character. She's good at that industry bullpuckey...and she can have it. I personally care more about considering what the eff this means.

Three quick questions:

1.) Why is Chris Nolan considered the go-to for this? Oh, The Dark Knight was a hot, sweaty ball of awesome, but that's ONE movie. Batman Begins was good, but not revolutionary...and everything Nolan has done has had some edge of darkness to it, which is distinctly the OPPOSITE of Superman. What in his body of work suggests that he knows this character? When has he ever even expressed a profound love of comics in general? Plus, he's not a guy who seems to have a lot of associated industry talent. I don't hear about any of his famous director buddies. He's a talented, talented director. He's a very good writer. He also made Insomnia, which was awful. My point is this: I have seen nothing that suggests Nolan on Superman is anything other than a desperate move by a studio to get buzz going behind a project that keeps stalling out and has tons of legal issues.

2.) Does this mean an origin story? I need another Superman origin tale like I need a fourth nipple. His origin may be the single most well known origin ever. If you want to spend some time on Krypton, fine. That's cool with me. But don't labor for hours on finally getting him in the suit. Nolan doesn't have a reputation for action-heavy material, by the way. The Dark Knight had some capable action scenes but was mostly character based. That approach was just tried and epic failed with Superman Returns. We need Superman in action, not emoting. Again, this isn't quite an easy home run.

3.) What does this mean for a cross-over? Obviously, the most exciting possibility is the least likely. With one creator overseeing two projects, and given the success over at Marvel of crossing characters over, what are the chances we finally see Superman AND Batman together? The odds probably just went from 10% to 50/50, which is interesting. I think it's more likely we see Batman in a Superman movie than vice versa, as the tone won't work for whatever Nolan is setting up for Bats. This is the most interesting of the elements regarding this news...and the one we're likely to not hear about for ages.

With Nolan ramping up Inception materials, it's likely he'll only field 100 billion questions about this stuff, so look for tiny nuggets of truth to be pooped out over the next year. We won't KNOW anything for awhile, though. So happy wild speculation, everyone!

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